Dual Career Support Activities of High-Performance Students-Athletes in the Project “More than Gold” [PDF]

Ilvis Abelkalns5, Laura Capranica1, 8, Mojca Doupona1,6, Anda Paegle5, Janis Stonis5, Ugis Bisenieks5, Antonio Sánchez-Pato7, Francisco José Cánovas-Álvarez7, Juan Alfonso García-Roca7, Alejandro Leiva-Arcas7, Lourdes Meroño7, Raquel Vaquero-Cristóbal7, António J. Figueiredo3, Hugo Sarmento3, Vasco Vaz3, Liliana-Elisabeta Radu2, Cristian-Mihail Rus2, Oana-Mihaela Rusu2, Barbara Ghinassi4, Pascal Izzicupo4, Angela Di Baldassarre4

1 European Athlete as Student Network, Malta
2 University “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” of Iași, Romania
3 University of Coimbra, Portugal
4 University “G. D’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara, Italy
5 University of Latvia, Latvia
6 University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
7 Catholic University of Murcia – UCAM, Spain
8 University of Rome Foro Italico, Italy

Abstract: One of the European Union’s (EU) priorities in sports is the holistic development of athletes through combining high-performance sports with higher education. Within the ERASMUS+Sport Collaborative Partnership “More than Gold” (MTG, 603346-EPP-1-2018-1-LV-SPO-SCP), the aim of the empirical research was to clarify and analyse the opinions of high-performance athletes of five Member States on the opportunities for Dual Career (DC) implementation as well as support provision for high-performance athletes within their DC implementation. Survey as the research method was chosen applying questionnaire, interview and focus-group discussion as data collection methods. The research sample included in this work comprised 284 athletes.
The data obtained revealed the challenges related to overlapping schedules, long distance from the university to the training venue, and the lack of understanding and flexibility from the academic staff, which was especially challenging in the first academic year. The respondents appreciated the support of DC tutors. Finally, the opinion of experts allowed to identify 9 aspects to be implemented within the DC perspective (e. g., access to educational facilities, tutorship, psychological support). Findings urge to implement DC programmes at higher education institutions (HEIs) comprising DC guidance, flexible study and training schedules, customized curricula, distance learning, proximity of training facilities and sports services, psychological and career support services tailored for elite-athletes. Therefore, the More Than Gold Guidelines for HEIs are crucial for the development of the European DC culture.
Keywords: Dual career, Dual Career Tutor, higher education institutions, high-performance athlete, support provision.


In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3